Daniel Altavilla & Phinnegan Lynch – Exploring Passimian Raichu, Mega Rayquaza, and Solgaleo Darkrai

Hey there, Cut or Tap readers! Daniel here, teaming up with Phinn to bring you our first collaboration! Anaheim Regionals is awfully soon (tomorrow), and Standard is in a crazy place right now. As a bit of an introductory segment, I’ll go over the information we’re sitting on:

  • Yes, these Grass decks work. Decidueye and Lurantis are two GX Pokemon that have been tossed into the mix of the meta. They both pretty much have the sole objective of keeping Greninja out of the format, which is just going to make Volcanion stronger.
  • No, Speed Darkrai is not dead. In fact, it is probably the best deck in the format. M Rayquaza and Volcanion get some new toys to mess with, but Darkrai remains a dominant force and the damage output remains enough to keep up with these 240/250-HP Pokemon. I doubt the deck will disappear from the meta anytime soon (at least until Lycanroc-GX shows up), and until then we’ll have a little trouble trying to one-up this nightmare fuel (literally) of a deck.
  • No, the meta isn’t unhealthy. Every part of this meta is healthy. When there are five or so different archetypes that can be played right now that are top tier, with eight to ten more sitting on the sidelines but consistently taking placements in large tournaments, there is no way that this format could be deemed unhealthy. Drawing absolutely nothing against your opponent at the table is a different story, but that’s how Base Set was too – and let’s face it, that format is amazing.

And then there’s the question everybody has been asking: is there a “best” card given to us in Sun and Moon?

Half-naked Kukui? Sweet Lillie? Bruxish? The answer to this question (which, mind you, is completely fact and not a bit of opinion whatsoever) would be Oranguru. Our chunky monkey provided to us in Sun and Moon is going to be the sole reason people stop answering “how did you lose?” with “well, he N’d me to one and…” because every single deck will be able to recover from an N. Every deck will be able to always have three cards for Ultra Ball or Computer Search fodder. (Delinquent? What’s that, a joke?)

Oranguru is the girl you don’t want to bring home to Mom, because she’s going to be in every single deck. That was a bit of hyperbole to cut into a bigger explanation on Oranguru. Basically, there is a formula for this card. I love taking Pokemon thought processes and turning them into flow charts, so here we go:

  • Is my deck’s endgame based on field position, or intricate combos? (ex. Turbo Dark vs Night March) If field position, you probably don’t want Oranguru. He’s a safe card, but in a deck that can close out a game without too much of a hand, I can see him becoming unnecessary and otherwise clunky. If intricate (a deck where you always need something in hand), you probably want Oranguru. An N to one when your combo always requires 3 cards+ is just not going to fly, so find the slot. Usually I prefer 3 Shaymin in any deck that has Oranguru, because an Ultra Ball turns an N to 1 into 6 cards way more often.
  • The next question: does your intricate deck play Garbodor or a heavy Silent Lab count, or neither? If you run the steamy, heaping pile of trash, you can consider Oranguru another steamy, heaping pile of trash, because you’ll never be able to use it when you would like to. (This applies with heavy Lab count too, as these decks are often too vulnerable to abilities that they don’t want to ever pop a Lab if they don’t have to.) If you don’t, Oranguru is a fine addition because you aren’t locking yourself out of the Ability.
  • The last question would be: can you afford Bench space? In a deck like Volcanion-EX or Rainbow Road, you probably wouldn’t want to run the monkey. Your bench needs to be filled with certain Pokemon to act as damage modifiers, so dropping an Oranguru is going to hurt a little more than help. The irony is in the fact that both of these decks have a very hand-based and draw-reliant strategy. Rainbow Road may be able to set up a strong field and survive off of N’s to 1, but (don’t hate me for this!) Volcanion usually runs out of steam off of an N to 1. But if the benched space permits, then… ape, ape away!

These are the questions you would be asking yourself if you were choosing whether to run this beautiful specimen or not, so please don’t forget them! Questions and processes like these go into plenty of card choices, so it’s always a good idea to keep asking yourself questions until you can convince yourself the card is good/bad. With Oranguru being explained thoroughly enough, I’ll leave Phinn to explain a deck that we have been working on for a little bit – Passimian/Mew/Raichu. The deck idea was thrown to me by Phinn and we both made our own lists and shared (and accepted) certain ideas with each other, so I’ll allow him to introduce it:


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3 thoughts on “Daniel Altavilla & Phinnegan Lynch – Exploring Passimian Raichu, Mega Rayquaza, and Solgaleo Darkrai

  1. With Vespiquen, what is your preferred starting Pokémon?

    Combee? I find it too easy to one shot.

    Yet I don’t see any switching cards in your list.

    1. I like to start with klefki because it has resistance to Dark types and has 70 HP. I use one of my Zoroark to attack on my second turn usually, so I can simply Stand-In to switch my active. I notice that many decks will hit my Klefki for some amount of damage, and then being able to Stand-In allows me to Wonder Lock, getting rid of the damage. Unown is also a decent starter for the same reason, however it only has 60 HP and does not resist anything. Great question!

    2. Hi Phinn, Daniel

      Do you happen to have any update on the Darkrai Solgaleo deck you mention above. It is such a great concept that I was hoping you could explore it more, or comment on any changes you have made in testing?



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